Anger and sorrow on Khartoum streets after teenagers killed

Wednesday July 31, 2019
Sudan renames feared spy agency

 

With school bags on their backs and Sudanese flags in their hands, hundreds of pupils marched in the capital Khartoum on Tuesday to denounce the killing of teenage protesters.


"We keep silent all the time and they kill us," said Enas Saifeddine, a visibly angry 16-year-old high school student.

She joined pupils rallying in Khartoum's western Al-Deim neighbourhood, a day after five students were shot dead during a protest in the central town of Al-Obeid.


They "were killed because they were asking for something that is basic like food, water and electricity," said Saifeddine, dressed in school uniform and a white headscarf.


Demonstrators have accused the feared paramilitary Rapid Support Forces of killing the teenagers during the protest, in which more than 60 were also wounded.


"Killing a student is killing a nation," the crowd chanted in Al-Deim as they marched through the neighbourhood and were joined by other pupils.


In Khartoum's northern Bahri neighbourhood, a regular site of protests, students burnt tyres to block roads according to onlookers.


"For more than an hour I'm stuck in traffic as all the usual roads that I take are blocked with burnt tyres," an employee with a leading Sudanese business group said on condition of anonymity.


With a Sudanese flag draped around his neck, high school student Awab Faisal said Tuesday's rallies were aimed at delivering a message to the authorities.


"We live and study in tough conditions. Often there is no water and electricity, and prices are only rising," Faisal said.


"Our future is unclear and such killings make it worse."


Sudan's ruling military council chief General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan has condemned the killings, saying it was an "unacceptable crime".


Some students in the rallies were seen wearing shirts that were torn, an AFP correspondent said.


"Our teachers had locked us inside the classroom so that we don't participate in the rallies, but we fought and came out," said one pupil.


Similar rallies were held in the capital's eastern district of Burri, another regular site of demonstrations.


"We are the future of Sudan, but as long as the military is in power there is no future," said Mohamed Al-Shazly, a high school student from the district.


"They started by killing protesters and now they are killing students."


Most of those demonstrating were school children, but some college students also joined the protests chanting "civilian rule, civilian rule".


"The killing of children has triggered more anger," said pharmacy student Solafa Mohamed.


"What they wanted is something basic which every child wants. But when the children expressed their anger, they were shot without any mercy."